These past two weeks have been exhilarating, challenging, frustrating, painful, and so so satisfying!
Twelve days ago, on a Friday night, I hit the pool at the Y with a vengeance. The swim workout posted was for 3,250 yards and I knew I could do it. I made it to 2700 yards and got kicked out of the pool because the Y was closing. Booo! I didn't pay attention to the earlier closing hour. Oh well, 2700 yards! Woohoo!
But, I had to stop a few times to knead out an on setting charlie horse. This ended up plaguing me over the next week in the form of a severely tight and tender right calf muscle. It may not have helped that my Saturday group run consisted of a new 10K route. I tried to rest it for 2 days, but I felt the need to walk it out and see if that would make it feel better. I did that and it felt good (1 hour walk on the treadmill). I ended up running 4 miles on the treadmill the next night because I was both itching to get moving and moving just felt better. After talking to a Y Wellness trainer, I decided to take the next day off and rub it with bio freeze. That was a "duh" moment for me. I use that stuff on my back whenever I am having pain. Needless to say, resting, exercising, and gelling my calf all helped, but gosh was it painful to the touch.
The first Saturday after our 5K race took us to new heights. We mapped out our new 10K road race route for March 5th. This was a tough day for everyone as we were not all feeling our best. The next Saturday was much better. A much more positive attitude was buzzing for the group. I needed the run and the company because I had had a bad morning. I had to meet the group at Coffee to a Tea after they had completed the first mile and then I was good to go. It was such a beautiful, drizzly crisp morning. Lunch at the coffee shop after was the highlight :-).
On another note, I started using my heart rate monitor as a training tool. I've had it for months, and used it sometimes, but I never knew what a powerful tool it could be! Mel runs with one and I would sometimes hear her say she was working in a certain zone and meeting her 85% target hear rate. I was so curious about it that I pulled my HRM manual out and discovered a plethora of information. Oh man, was it frustrating and infuriating when I first tried following a sample workout and did a few of my normal ones, only to discover I was not working hard enough to keep my heart rate in my 85% target zone! I just didn't believe the numbers. I just decided to not stare at it and not worry about it. That was too frustrating. Low and behold, once I took to the streets and was running at my normal rate, my heart rate was cooperating too. I started keeping a chart logging roughtly how many minutes I was working in each of my heart rate zones (there are 5). There is a simple math formula to calculate minutes worked vs heart rate zone to yield a "training load." Timex's (my HRM brand) training chart suggests to complete a training load of 800-1000 points in a week to be able to complete a 10K, 700-1000 to maintain your current weight, and much more for that marathon I want to run this year. Once I felt comfortable changing up my running routine with my monitor, I really knew I had some powerful information in my hands.
I am an excel junkie and love charts and organization, so I converted my paper chart to an electronic one with pretty formulas that will give me immediate feedback after each workout. I am now able to walk, bike, run, and do all sorts of cardio workouts, enter my information, and visually see what my training load yielded for each workout and what my current total for the week is. It's awesome to compare one workout to another and see the numbers. Last weeks total was 831 points for may training load, so I was quite happy. So far this week, I am at 541.
I am running an 8K this Saturday and am quite looking forward to it. Danielle, Margie, and I will run it together. Mel and Brandon are going to go for their best time possible, as they both need qualifying times for placement in the Disney Marathon next January! Go Mel and Brandon Go!
I am not too worried about time on this one because I had a pretty hard run after work today with my friend Jessica. She is a runner! No 1/1 pace on this run. We had awesome weather and completed 4.6 miles through the park in 59 minutes. This included a potty break and several short walking breaks. My buns were feeling those hills. Jessica can do this with her hands tied and set a pace slower than she normally runs, but it kept me in my 85-90% heart rate zone for 54 minutes!! A few times I got over the 90% mark, so I cut it back there. I don't think I would have pushed myself that hard if I had gone by myself. So glad you decided to come out after all Jessica! We are going to make this a regular thing on Thursday's after work. I am really looking forward to becoming a faster runner and changing up my run/walk routine just for something different.
Here we come 8K!